Disadvantaged adults in Suffolk learn professional barista skills at Paddy & Scott’s

Sally Butcher and Paddy Bishopp.

Sally Butcher and Paddy Bishopp. - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

Disadvantaged adults from Felixstowe, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds have become trained baristas thanks to a partnership between a social enterprise and a leading Suffolk coffee company.

Sally Butcher and Paddy Bishopp.

Sally Butcher and Paddy Bishopp. - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

Realise Futures is one of the largest social enterprises in the East of England and includes among its businesses a chain of four social cafes across Suffolk where some of the employees are vulnerable adults or people with learning disabilities.

The company has linked up with successful coffee brand Paddy & Scott’s, an Earl Soham-based business that also offers training in how to serve the perfect coffee.

Around 25 staff have been trained to serve Paddy & Scott’s coffee at Realise Futures’ St Lawrence Café in Ipswich, its Nowton Park Café and Café Libra, both in Bury St Edmunds, and Café Libra at Felixstowe Library.

“We believe this partnership will prove very attractive to customers as the coffee is wonderful quality,” said Realise Futures managing director Sally Butcher.

“There’s a false assumption that people with a disability can’t hold down a job but the professional training they have received from Paddy and Scott’s has given them valuable skills.”

She added: “We have a very loyal customer base at our cafes, who are very supportive of our social mission and values to help people who are disabled and disadvantaged learn new skills and find employment opportunities.”

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Paddy & Scott’s has established itself as leading independent coffee business in the UK and has cafes in Framlingham, Hadleigh and Bury St Edmunds as well as a network of concession cafes in shops, colleges and workplaces.

Founder and director of Paddy & Scott’s, Paddy Bishopp recently attended the launch of the partnership at Realise Futures historic St Lawrence’s Café.

He said he was confident that the training given to staff would stand them in good stead.

He said: “You can have the best coffee in the world but unless it is served right, customers won’t get to enjoy the full taste.

There is a lot involved - from grinding the beans to the correct size and having the right water temperature, to ensuring the texture of the milk is right.

Paddy added: “We are very protective of our brand and only allow our coffee to be served where we know the quality is assured.”